DOD In-Person Tour: Historic Elitch Theatre

Saturday, October 9 + Sunday, October 10, 2021

Join DAF for an in-person tour of the Historic Elitch Theatre. This tour will be offered TWICE:

  • Saturday, October 9, 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Sunday, October 10, 11:00am-12:30pm

About the tour: The Historic Elitch Theatre has been a vital part of Colorado’s cultural landscape since its first season in 1891. It was home to the oldest summer stock theatre in America and in 1896 it hosted Colorado’s first moving picture. Some of the most famous faces in theatre, film and television passed through this iconic American playhouse, including Douglas Fairbanks, Grace Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, Cecil B. DeMille, Robert Redford, Debbie Reynolds and Vincent Price, to name just a few. The Elitch Theatre delighted Denver audiences for 100 years, with the last production occurring in 1991. Today, the organization is working to return the theatre to its heritage as a nationally-renowned venue for the celebration of the arts.

About the building: Completed in 1891, in the stick and shingle style that emerged in the late 19th century, the theatre featured an open two-story veranda surrounding the auditorium. Simple posts with knee braces supported the verandas. The backstage building enclosed the western side of the theatre, and the signature castle-like cupola crowned the roof. Denver architects Rudolf Liden and Charles Lee designed the building. Over the next quarter century modifications to the stairways, entrances and eventual enclosure of the verandas resulted in the theatre’s most durable and well-known configuration. The roofline, octagonal floor plan and general auditorium arrangement varied little from the 1891 design until the construction of a new backstage building in 1954.

About the tour guides: After a 20-year career in social services and nonprofits, Greg Rowley, MNM, got into computer programming and worked on creating software for nonprofits. Following Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross used Greg’s software to case manage the needs of the displaced residents at the Houston Astrodome. While he now works with his family’s business, Greg enjoys the opportunity to put his Master of Nonprofit Management degree to good use as a board member for the Historic Elitch Theatre.

Ben Bryant discovered the theatre after moving to Denver to get his MBA and first got involved with the theatre volunteering for the outdoor film series, then joined the building committee before joining the board. He has a background in concert staging and has utilized that background to work towards preparing the building for the return of theatre as well as other events.

Jane Crisler, AIA, LEED AP wears many hats within Eppstein Uhen Architects from Senior Project Architect and K-12 Market Leader to Historic Preservation Lead and Principal. Jane’s dual knowledge in K-12 and historic preservation helps her to craft unique and innovative solutions for important civic buildings, be it a new school or a historic structure. Jane enjoys projects that positively impact entire communities and is passionately committed to improving and shaping public places through the design and preservation of buildings.

Please note: All attendees (including tour guide and DAF staff) will be required to sign a waiver of liability and answer a COVID-19 questionnaire prior to the in-person tour. All participants must wear a mask on this tour and remain six feet apart. Click here for more information on DAF’s COVID-19 precautions.

Tour meeting location will be included in your purchase confirmation.